An Explosive 21st Century Adaptation From Masterpiece Theatre
With freshly rechristened characters and brand-new dialogue, this British TV production of Othello is a "rethinking" of Shakespeare's play, albeit still retaining the original's power and potency. The story is set in the London of the near future, a crime-ridden metropolis virtually torn apart by racial hostilities. By order of the Prime Minister, black police officer John Othello (Eamonn Walker) is promoted to Commissioner, a post dearly coveted by Othello's friend, mentor and fellow officer Ben Jago (Christopher Eccleston). Seething with jealousy, Jago contrives to discredit Othello in the eyes of the public, and to destroy John's interracial marriage to the lily-white Dessie (Keeley Hawes). Among those used as unwitting dupes to gain Jago's ends are Othello's trusted lieutenant, Michael Cass (Richard Coyle), scrupulously honest police constable Alan Roderick (Del Synnott), and Jago's own wife, Lulu (Rachael Stirling).